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The Pharmacy Assurance process coordinates a single technical pharmacy review for eligible studies. The completed review can be used by all participating NHS/HSC sites across the UK to assess local capacity and capability in their pharmacy departments.

The Pharmacy Assurance process was developed in conjunction with the Experimental Cancer Medicines Centre and the Four Nations Pharmacy Assurance Working Party, a UK-wide group of pharmacy experts who continue to provide us with expert input.

The process is open in England, Scotland and Wales, with the process opening in Northern Ireland once a phased roll-out is complete in England and Wales.

We expect that eligible studies will be submitted for Pharmacy Assurance. It will be a component of HRA and HCRW Approval once the phased implementation is completed.

What are the benefits of this process?

Pharmacy Assurance has been designed to streamline the local pharmacy review process, allowing sites to assess capacity and capability and open to recruitment sooner by: 

  • reducing the number of queries which sponsors received from multiple pharmacy departments, enabling them to concentrate on resolving local issues
  • giving greater clarity to sponsors and study teams at the outset about the information requirements for pharmacy departments to review and set up studies by standardising the pharmacy technical review process
  • releasing staff time currently spent on completing parallel reviews so that they can focus on capacity and capability and set-up activities

Can I submit for Pharmacy Assurance?

Pharmacy Assurance is currently going through a phased roll-out in England and Wales. 

Detailed submission guidance is available on the IRAS website, but our Applying for Pharmacy Assurance page provides an overview for those going through the process.

Still got questions?

Visit our FAQs page. If our FAQs page doesn't answer your question you can also contact us directly at

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